Greek florist and decorator Maria Lalagos was one of the 89 volunteers who were selected from thousands of applications to decorate the US presidential residence.
Christmas has always been Maria’s favorite holiday and she has often been called the Christmas elf by her friends. When she found out that she would be among the decorating team for the White House it was a dream come true.
Maria Lalagos and the rest of the volunteer team followed instructions by the company Rafanelli Events, which coordinated the entire process. As the young woman stated in an interview, her experience was incredible. “There are no words that can express this feeling. I cannot believe it is true,” she said.
Initially, she worked on the East Wing corridor, where she had to stick around 7,000 balls on the wooden frames placed in front of four columns. Then she decorated the interior arch in the East Room, with garland and silver ornaments. Later she teamed up with another nine volunteers to decorate the East Peristyle with snowflakes created by children from schools around Washington. Finally, the talented Greek, a native of Crete and Peloponnese, decorated the Christmas tree that was placed in US President Barrack Obama’s elevator.
The theme of this year’s festive decoration for the White House is “Timeless Tradition.” In total, 62 trees and more than 70,000 ornaments were used to decorate the house. This holiday season around 68,000 people from the US and other countries are expected to visit the White House.